- Jonas Westover
Originally called the “Gramophone Awards,” the Grammy Awards serves to honor achievement in the recording industry across a wide range of artistic and technical categories. The National academy of recording arts and sciences bestows these honors on an annual basis, and the televised production, broadcast internationally, is one of the music industry’s most prestigious occasions.
The award was first discussed in the late 1950s as part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame project, when organizers realized that there was no music equivalent for the major honors in film (Oscars) and television (Emmys). The initial broadcast show occurred on 4 May 1959 as part of the NBC anthology series Sunday Showcase, as musicians were presented with statues of Thomas Edison’s invention, the gramophone (a practice that continues to the present). NARAS seeks to recognize figures involved with different aspects of the recording process—from star performers to certain figures behind the scenes—relying on peer involvement to assign and designate awards. NARAS periodically makes changes by adding, merging, or deleting award categories; for the ...